Two Congolese women are remanded at Chichiri Prison in Blantyre after their failed bid to fly out to Britain using forged passports and beating the security checks at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre.
But Lilongwe Handling Company (Lihaco) employees alerted airport officials in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the two were arrested and sent back to Malawi two days later, according to a source at Chileka Police.
On January 21 2017 Tsiala Lubanza, using a forged British passport number C00383890 belonging to Bukulu Jeaninne Ngalula and Mboma Ewaly using a forged South African passport number A04172704 belonging to Nomafusi Nonkosinathi Mavis, beat the security checks at Chileka and boarded an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Police documents Weekend Nation has seen show that the two are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and residents of Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa.
In an interview, Immigration Department spokesperson Joseph Chauwa confirmed the development and said the department is investigating the matter.
“We are equally surprised that something of this kind happened that these two individuals managed to slip through security mechanisms and fly out. We are aware that other security organs such as the police are also conducting criminal investigations into the same matter,” said Chauwa.
An internal police correspondence Weekend Nation has seen indicates the two women were spotted by a Lihaco employee after noticing that they could not speak English and that their faces did not match the images on their passports.
Reads the correspondence in part: “The Lihaco employee was surprised that one Immigration officer (name withheld) took the passports from the two suspects as they queued at the Immigration counter and disappeared out of the terminal building. [But] Lihaco officers sent an e-mail to Addis Ababa to scrutinise the two passengers thoroughly.
“The Immigration officer made sure that the two suspected passengers should not appear in their electronic system where every passenger is taken fingerprints, facial scans and other details which is against international travel guidelines.” n